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1988 vintage guide for Italy Tuscany

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One of the great vintages of the decade, with highly-acclaimed wines in all regions

Weather Conditions

The spring was late in Tuscany and flowering and fruit set were both disturbed by heavy rain in June which reduced the quantity of fruit on the vine significantly. This turned to the advantage of quality however when the sun came out at the end of the month. An unbroken period of hot dry weather lasting from July through to the end of the harvest in mid October allowed producers to pick perfect grapes with high sugars and extract and good balancing acidity.

Best Appellations

Arguably the best vintage of the decade with the most complete wines and most uniform quality. Production was down as much as 30% in some areas, but quality in all the major DOC/G zones was outstanding. Straight Chianti had great fruit and aroma while the Riservas – possibly a little tough early on – have developed elegance and complexity. Brunello and Vino Nobile Riservas are rich and powerful, with the depth and body of classic long ageing vintages.

Best Producers

None of the big names missed out on the vintage. Antinori did the double with Solaia and Tignanello. Frescobaldi replied with their Montesodi. Riecine turned out a great Chianti Riserva and the Sangiovese based Super Tuscans Fontalloro, Flaccianello and Cepparello all made a very big impact. In the south of the region bottles worth collecting were made by a long list of producers including Argiano, Poggio al Vento, Caparzo, Lisini and Cerbaiona at Montalcino and Poliziano and Boscarelli at Montepulciano.

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